While necessity might be the mother of invention, in iShopChangi’s case, it led to a re-invention of the brand and business.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, passenger traffic at Changi Airport plummeted and so did sales at airside retail. All of Changi Airport’s airside concessions were challenged to find new revenue streams, including iShopChangi, the airport’s e-commerce platform. With the traveller market no longer a viable source of sales, the business turned its focus to the non-travelling domestic market.
Although born out of necessity, this pivot has given iShopChangi a new lease of life, resulting in a revamped proposition of being one of the few dual marketplaces in Singapore, catering to both travellers and non-travellers. iShopChangi’s competitive edge comes from its unique ability to offer non-travellers tax- and duty-absorbed prices on airport favourites. Its ongoing evolution from an e-commerce platform to an omnichannel retailer also sets it apart from other dual marketplaces.
“By bringing the experience of airport shopping out of the airport and into the homes of local consumers, iShopChangi has seen significant year-on-year growth, with local customers contributing to the majority of sales,” shares Nicole Foo, Vice President, Online Retail at Changi Airport Group.
“Our platform offers our existing airport retailers a ready-made channel to sell their products and even grow their business during a tough climate. We are encouraged by the support we have gotten from both in-airport and off-airport partners and will continue to strengthen Changi’s retail proposition with new, exciting campaigns and collaborations to come.”
Building new niches
iShopChangi’s pivot to the non-traveller market also saw the evolution and expansion of its range of products.
Tax and duty-free items such as wines and spirits are perennial favourites among travelling shoppers. With iShopChangi now offering non-travellers these products at over 40% off regular prices all year round, this product category has been a hit among local consumers. In addition, with Covid-19 restrictions on F&B operational hours, more people have been enjoying liquor from the comfort of home. iShopChangi has since seen a seven-fold growth in alcohol sales.
“Seeing this growing trend of at-home alcohol consumption, we saw the opportunity to further develop Changi's already-strong positioning for tax- and duty-absorbed wines and spirits by working with retailers including Lotte Duty Free and multiple brand groups to expand on our range and offer,” points out Nicole.